Video: Police still tracking 'wig bandit'

By Bob Faw Correspondent
NBC News
updated 7/25/2006 7:29:21 PM ET 2006-07-25T23:29:21

The scam is hair-raising, but the perpetrator is hardly hare-brained: For the last 11 months, she has donned wigs that are black and white and blonde and gray. All to impersonate bank customers, then withdraw the customers' money.

"They're nice wigs, I would imagine, from a man's perspective," says Brandon Mengedoht, a detective in Montgomery County, Md.

Mengedoht's perspective, though, is to nab the male accomplice and well-dressed, well-spoken "wig lady," who police say have used IDs swiped in purse-snatchings, and all those wigs, to pocket more than $219,000.

"There's no reason to stop," says Mengedoht. "They're making good money, it's free money, and there's no risk in being caught, for the most part."

Thus far, 23 victims have been identified, and police admit there are undoubtedly many others.

"It's very frustrating, ’cause you don't know when and if it will happen," says one victim who asked not to be identified.

She may have wigged out bank tellers and cops, but she's hardly winning rave reviews from those in the know.

"They look awful," laughs Young Chun, who manages Empire Wigs in Rockville, Md. "They are rubbish."

Chun's been fitting and selling wigs for 37 years and is embarrassed now to learn when it comes to hair, sometimes, less is more.

"She did a good job," he says and laughs. "$200,000, wow!"

Other than a few bank surveillance photos — and her M.O. — police admit, they're stumped.

"The account holders and citizens are going to have to worry for years on end when this is going to end," says Mengedoht.

When she is caught and gets her comeuppance, it will presumably be a very bad hair day, indeed. Until then, she's staying one step ahead — using her noggin — one wig at a time.

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